The Portland Timbers trained at the team's Beaverton practice facility today, putting in a short workout on the pitch before heading indoors for a mid-week gym session.
After a quick warmup, the Timbers broke into four five-man teams, playing a round-robin tournament of short field games that would last the duration of training. In the middle of the Timbers' bye-week during the international break, the team was not split up into the usual first team, bench, and T2 loanees, instead seeing an even spread of each group.
Of all the groups, the most notable was comprised of the three Jacks: Jack Jewsbury, Jack McInerney, and Jack Barmby; plus Taylor Peay and Lucas Melano, and Jake Gleeson in goal. The group somehow managed to avoid the obvious communication issues and were strong contenders throughout. Interestingly, Barmby played primarily in a defensive role for the group, staying back for much of the side's matches alongside Peay.
- Diego Chara was omnipresent on the small fields of today's matches, popping up all over the place for his side and putting in a number of tackles. This was typified in the early going as he popped up on the goal line behind Justin Luthy to clear a Jewsbury shot off the line for a last second save (of course, McInerney was at the back post to put away the rebound for an easy poacher's goal).
- Perhaps the most impressive cohesive move the day did not result in a goal, but was still impressive none the less. Diego Valeri, dropping back from the top of his side's formation, got on the ball in the center of the field. Picking his head up, Valeri sent an incisive pass down the right flank that bounced perfectly for the run of Nick Besler. With the ball skipping to him, Besler hit a volleyed pass to the back post for the Run of Ben Zemanski. With his first touch, Zemanski hit a hard, dipping volley from close range, putting the ball just over Luthy's shoulder. The T2 keeper was equal to the task, however, getting a quick hand up to slap the shot wide of goal.
- Justin Luthy was not the only T2 keeper to show well in today's matches: newcomer Kendall McIntosh also came up big with several important saves for his side, including a full-stretch diving save that just managed to parry a low shot around the far post.
Injuries and Absences
All of the Timbers' international call ups were, as expected, not in training today, having left to join their respective national teams. Darlington Nagbe, Fanendo Adi, Adam Kwarasey, Alvas Powell, Jermaine Taylor, and Darren Mattocks are all expected back in the middle of next week.
Liam Ridgewell continued his extended absence as he recovers from a hamstring strain suffered before the Timbers' week two match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Andrew Thoma was not in training as he continues his recovery from a knee strain suffered late in the preseason.
With so many players missing due to call ups and injuries, the Timbers brought in several T2 players to fill out the ranks in today's training session. Keepers Justin Luthy and Kendall McIntosh, defender Trevor Morley, and midfielder Andre Lewis all trained with the first team today.